Not only a hub for books, the DPLA made an API so anyone can build a reading room.
One year ago, a group of professors, librarians, and futurists gathered in San Francisco to discuss how they would go about building a Digital Public Library of America. There were still many questions about the project, which had millions of dollars in charitable funding but hadn’t yet meted out a complete vision of its incarnation. The directors cited Europeana and Wikipedia as examples, but they weren’t sure how a digital library would tackle the problems unique to using published content in America. Despite the hurdles ahead, the founders of the DPLA promised at that conference that a live website would launch in April 2013, come hell or high water.
The founders of the DPLA made good on their promise this week. The organization launched a website on Thursday that allows users to browse more than two million archived books, images, records, and sounds. The content comes from the libraries of institutions like Harvard University, the Internet Archive, and the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Public Libraries. The DPLA also makes an API available to anyone who wants to add access to this treasure trove to a third party application